The Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Jay Shah, has refuted reports claiming that he accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan, dismissing them as likely stemming from mischief.
Earlier reports suggested that Shah, who also serves as the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), agreed to a visit to Pakistan after being invited by Zaka Ashraf, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee. The invitation was said to have been extended during a meeting at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) annual session in Durban, South Africa. However, Shah clarified the situation in an interview with News18 CricketNext on Wednesday morning, stating, “I have not agreed to anything. This is simply a case of miscommunication, possibly deliberate or mischievous. I will not be making any visit.”
Ashraf, speaking from Durban, confirmed his meetings with Indian officials, including a three-on-three gathering involving representatives from both countries. He stated, “Later, it was a one-on-one meeting. I discussed various options to resume cricketing ties with Jay Shah, who showed positivity and accepted my invitation to tour Pakistan during or before the start of the Asia Cup. He also invited me to visit India during the World Cup, which I accepted. I informed him that the Pakistani nation has always respected their guests and welcomed them.”
Ashraf expressed satisfaction with the meetings, as officials from both cricketing boards had the opportunity to exchange their perspectives. He added that both boards have agreed to enhance their relationship through future discussions.
These developments could mark the beginning of the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan following a hiatus of several years. The upcoming Asia Cup cricket tournament, scheduled from August 31 to September 17, will feature India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal competing in 13 one-day international (ODI) matches. The teams are divided into two groups, with Group A comprising Pakistan, India, and Nepal, while Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka form Group B.